Organized by motorcycle racer Vicki Gray, the Female Ride Day began in 2007 as a national event in Canada for women to demonstrate their enjoyment of riding and to encourage other women to start riding.
“On Female Ride Day, all we ask of women is to be on a motorcycle and just ride!” says Gray. “It is not an organized ride, not a charity or fundraiser – these important guiding principles were set up to ensure the point of the day is clear – sole focus on women riders.”
Women in the US and Europe decided to participate last year on their own, so it was a natural progression to make it an international event.
The Women’s Commission of Motorcycling Australia has adopted the idea and is encouraging Australian women to participate.
“Women are more likely to be the instigators and the organizers behind the scenes of motorcycling,” says commission chair Jennifer Ballard. “This day is their opportunity to celebrate everything they love about riding a motorbike.”
Riders are encouraged to send in pictures of their rides to Gray’s website, http://www.motoress.com/. Gray will post the images on her site and send back mementos and souvenirs.
Several manufacturers have thrown their support behind International Female Ride Day, including the Big Four Japanese manufacturers and Harley-Davidson.
“The growth in the number of female riders over the past two decades is exciting, from 4 per cent in 1990 to 12 per cent today,” says Leslie Prevish, Women's Outreach Manager for Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “Our participation in the event is our way of embracing and acknowledging women motorcyclists worldwide.”
Harley-Davidson will organize a ride for its female employees and dealerships will host women-only gatherings to help women meet other female riders, as well as educate non-riders about motorcycling.
“Of course, women are free to decide how they spend the day, and some clubs and rider groups indeed have incorporated a charity or an organized ride,” says Gray. “This is the beauty of the day – freedom to enjoy it as you wish no matter the make or style, cruiser, sport, touring, scooter, road, off-road or ATV. Women are encouraged to simply join in, enjoy the camaraderie internationally and just ride!”